Shriners Children's Open

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

TPC Summerlin

Taylor Mongomery

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: All right, afternoon everyone. We would like to welcome Taylor Montgomery to the Shriners Children's Open. Welcome. A Las Vegas native. Just some opening comments on what it's like to have a home game this week, and especially sleep in your own bed?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: Doesn't get any better than being able to sleep in our own bed and come out to a PGA TOUR event.

As long as I'm on the PGA TOUR I'll be playing this event every year. As long as it's here and stuff.

It's really nice being home and just go throughout your day and showing up to a tournament to play.

Q. T15 here last time out; making your second start. What are things you like about this course and how many teams you think you've played it over the years?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: I haven't really played out here too much. I have a lot in the last month because it's the only place open out here in Vegas with the overseed and stuff like that.

But I like the layout. Gives you some room off the tee, but you also have to hit it pretty straight. Can't have like a really big miss out here. It's not like a hole-to-hole golf course. You have to be precise into the greens, and chipping and putting is a huge deal on this golf course.

Q. Strong start to your rookie season. Now seeing these tournaments for the second time. How helpful is that?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: Should be very helpful. I guess I'll find out. It helped me a lot on the Korn Ferry Tour few years back, especially when you're playing good. When you're playing good you're going to play good no matter what, but to see it a couple times, you can really save a couple shots a round. That's obviously out here a huge deal.

Q. Playing with the familiar pairing for the first two days and Justin Suh Harry Hall. How fun will that be to have that group?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: It's great. I wish we could gamble out there. I would love some Harry Hall money. It spends really well. I haven't had any of his money in a while.

Q. Because guys haven't been playing or had practice off time together?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: Yeah, we've just been kind of playing tournaments and stuff. I wasn't here for a while. We played the other day and he got some of my money which is bad, but I want to flip it around. (Smiling.)

Q. I think the last time we talked to you in Memphis you talked about wanting to go take some of your break time to work on your swing, some things that you had tried to work on during the season but hadn't come fully to fruition. How has the last six weeks gone for you as you try to work on that swing?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: After Napa I've been practicing pretty hard. I mean, as hard as I can. I've finally stopped hitting an 8-iron 150 yards, so I gained about 20 yards with an 8-iron so that's a positive.

Now just comes down to repetition and being able to hit it straight. Because I was hitting it straight. I just scooping everything, not having any shaft lean and stuff like that. Just really hitting it nowhere, and out here when you're giving up 20 yards with an 8-iron you're in trouble.

Q. Is it safe to say you feel more confident in your swing now than you did couple months ago when you were struggling there?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: Yeah, definitely still working on it a little bit. Just started working with Butch Harmon the last couple weeks, so hopefully him and I can get it going.

Q. How did that relationship come about with you and Butch?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: I was just struggling and I kept doing the same thing and trying to fix basically the same thing. Never changed, so I'm like, might as well change something and see what happens.

I've always been kind of -- always done short game stuff, chipping, putting by myself and having my dad look at me every once in a while, but ball striking is the key. If I'm hitting it good I'm going to be right there most of the time.

Not all the time, but most of the time. That's one part of my game that I want to really improve.

Q. Can you just walk us through it came so easy for you when you first start out, and then you get in that stretch and making a cut becomes more difficult. What gets through your mind? Maybe because it seemed like when you came on tour things just came so easy. Must be difficult for you to say, what the heck am I doing wrong here?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: Yeah, I mean, I feel like mentally I've stayed the same. I've kept the same routine. Obviously I'm doing something different. When I first came out here I'm hitting an 8-iron 175 yards, and towards the middle of the season I'm smoking it 150, 155. Like I'm clearly doing something wrong, whether it was like body-wise, I don't know.

I think I just got into a bad habit of leaning back on it and just scooping it. Yeah, I can see how you can really fall off the deep end like mentally playing bad. That's never going to be go me. Whether I play good or bad, I for get about it and it's onto the next day.

Q. The season lines up so well for you. In the past you had to be right back at it. Does this work out that you have some time to work out some kinks, and otherwise if it was a brand new season you would be back scrapping for points again?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: Yeah, it does. At the same time it's not a -- I thought it was going to be a time for me to maybe relax and not practice as much. I just said, screw it, I'm going to practice every day and get after it.

Q. I know it's easy to say, hey, it's great to be home. When you're struggling does that add pressure or don't you feel that way at all?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: It can. You start thinking maybe my grandma wants me to hit a good shot here. I don't know. I'm going to have a lot of family here this week and it's going to be nice with their support.

Pressure-wise, not really.

Q. You kind of touched on it a little bit. With guys like Xander and Colin and Kurt not playing here, do you feel like you're carrying the banner for the Vegas golfers, and does that add pressure for you and Harry and Ryan and those guys?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: Not really. I love those guys. Those guys are great. They've had a pretty busy season. I can see where they're coming from on not playing, but it would be nice to see them out here and playing in the tournament.

I love competing against all my friends and stuff. But I don't feel any like this is my tournament or anything like that. It's nice to have a fundamental where you aren't sleeping in a hotel room.

Q. To address the elephant in the room with Lexi here this week, how do you feel about having her in the field and what did you think it brings to the tournament?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: Oh, yeah, I think it's cool. I haven't seen her play but I played a lot with her brother, Curtis. Curtis Thompson and I are really good buddies. That's one crazy dude, Curtis. I can only imagine what Lexi is like. (Laughter.)

Q. Wondering what makes putting and chipping here especially important?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: I think it's gotten easier over the years because they changed the fairways. I believe this was like one of the hardest places to get up and down for a while.

I'm not sure about that. I think it's like with the tour -- had to be Top 5. It was just because the lies were so grainy and tight around the green.

But you're going to have -- if you're driving it well here you're going to have a lot of wedges and a lot of 50, 60 yard shots into these par-5s or even up around the green on the par-5s.

Getting it up and down and pretty much almost 70, 80% of the time, you're going to be up there. As long as you aren't hitting it out of bounds. A guy that plays really good here is my buddy Harry Hall. His short game here is pretty phenomenal.

Q. Just with where you are in the FedExCup standings in between that 51 to 60, which would get you into some signature events next year. Is that a position you're following, and what kind of is that importance to you to maybe lock up a couple big time events for next year?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: I think it would be nice, but at the end of the day, like I just want to be playing good golf going into the start of the season.

Like what I did last fall, I was just playing really good and everything seemed so easy. Didn't matter what tournament I was in. It was going to be -- felt like I was going to shoot the same thing every time. I was going to be up there.

So I just want to get back to that aspect of golf for me. If I do that, then everything will take care of itself.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
137882-2-1041 2023-10-10 21:06:00 GMT

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